Tuesday’s congressional hearing was shocking and disappointing. After nearly six hours of testimony in which the university presidents from Harvard, MIT, and Penn made clear their schools’ commitments to free speech and academic excellence, they could not bring themselves to affirm that calling for the genocide of the Jewish people constitutes a violation of their institutions’ codes of conduct. 

How can they possibly reconcile that commitment to excellence with an environment that is saturated with threats, antisemitic language and calls for genocide? How can Jewish and pro-Israel students and faculty possibly feel safe when fellow students and faculty can call for their elimination with impunity? 

The Jewish communities on campus deserve strong moral leadership, not evasive and tepid commitments that do nothing to address the challenges being faced. 

We do not need more “context” to know that calling for the genocide of the Jewish people is dangerous, wrong and unacceptable. If it is not a violation of the code of conduct, then they should update their code.  

AJC’s Action Plan for University Administrators can be found here: Confronting Campus Antisemitism: An Action Plan for University Administrators | AJC


AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit www.ajc.org.